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The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition by Gordon M. Burghardt,Marc Bekoff
ISBN: 0262025140
ISBN13: 978-0262025140
Author: Gordon M. Burghardt,Marc Bekoff
Book title: The Cognitive Animal: Empirical and Theoretical Perspectives on Animal Cognition
Other Formats: mbr rtf txt lit
Pages: 504 pages
Publisher: A Bradford Book (June 1, 2002)
Language: English
Size PDF version: 1163 kb
Size ePub version: 1417 kb
Size fb2 version: 1552 kb
Category: Biological Sciences

The fifty-seven original essays in this book provide a comprehensive overview of the interdisciplinary field of animal cognition. The contributors include cognitive ethologists, behavioral ecologists, experimental and developmental psychologists, behaviorists, philosophers, neuroscientists, computer scientists and modelers, field biologists, and others. The diversity of approaches is both philosophical and methodological, with contributors demonstrating various degrees of acceptance or disdain for such terms as "consciousness" and varying degrees of concern for laboratory experimentation versus naturalistic research. In addition to primates, particularly the nonhuman great apes, the animals discussed include antelopes, bees, dogs, dolphins, earthworms, fish, hyenas, parrots, prairie dogs, rats, ravens, sea lions, snakes, spiders, and squirrels.The topics include (but are not limited to) definitions of cognition, the role of anecdotes in the study of animal cognition, anthropomorphism, attention, perception, learning, memory, thinking, consciousness, intentionality, communication, planning, play, aggression, dominance, predation, recognition, assessment of self and others, social knowledge, empathy, conflict resolution, reproduction, parent-young interactions and caregiving, ecology, evolution, kin selection, and neuroethology.

Books reviews
Some really neat topics but the articles are somewhat dated by now, and not always as complete as one would think of scholarly essays.
Love this author!
This book is a large collection of short papers, somewhat comparable in style to what you would get in a peer-reviewed journal. I found many of them dull, but a few were good enough to make the book worth buying.

Slobodchikoff's paper on prairie dog speech is what attracted me to the book; it's interesting but doesn't say enough to provide a convincing answer to my questions about how sophisticated their grammar is.

Several of the papers provide nice anecdotes of sophisticated behavior where I didn't expect it (e.g. apparently detailed planning by a spider), but I sometimes wonder to what extent there's a selection bias that causes complex behavior to be overemphasized in reports of this nature, since they're more interesting to read than reports of animals failing to exhibit smart behavior.
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